As a public relations professional, success depends on finding the right story to deliver to the right person at the right time. We can use several PR tactics to help guide us through this process (editorial calendars, news trends, recent articles published, etc.). But what happens when you have that right story packaged up in that golden pitch just to find out that the right person is no longer there – either he’s been let go by the publication or more commonly these days the publication has closed. The increase in magazine closures is particularly challenging in smaller B2B sectors where the number of outlets to pitch are limited even during an economic upswing.
So what do you do when the number of editors and publications decrease while your media outreach goals continue to increase? Here are some other ways on how you can broaden your media outreach plan when traditional targets are limited.
- Online outlets. I remember when I first started my PR career over a decade ago. The faxing of the pitch letters to editors, the phones calls… the phone calls. Now, we have email, which has solved much of the inefficiency problems not to mention that a “cold email” is a lot easier to administer than a “cold call”.
We also have a lot more websites now than when we did in the early 2000s. In fact, you’d be hard pressed these days to find a magazine that did not also have an online counterpart. Some of the more recently launched publications choose never to hit the newsstand and instead strengthen their odds for reach through an online outlet only. What does this mean for you, the PR professional? It translates to more opportunities to extend the reach of your story. In fact, in many cases the online version of publications will have a much broader reach then the magazine itself. In addition, the real-time nature of online allows for quicker pick-up and possible edits on the fly.
- Newsletters have become the norm for many publications, providing an avenue for communicating new product announcements, trends, and other more timely news updates. Like online opportunities, newsletters are also a bit more flexible when it comes to when they can run a story as compared to print. They also offer more chances for inclusion due to frequency, which is more commonly a weekly distribution.
- Social Media. Social, of course, has completely changed how we communicate and distribute our news. With the dawn of a press announcement pushed out via Twitter and other social channels like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn have become valuable tools for connecting with editors and extending the reach of your story.
When pitching an editor always request the opportunity to include a mention in one or all of their own social channels when your story goes live. Leveraging a publication’s social outlets for coverage gives you the opportunity to get more pressing, timely stories out to your target audience faster. In the case were a target publication may only run quarterly, a mention in a post or a tweet gives you the flexibility to communicate faster.
- And finally, yes, you guessed it, bloggers. Often the go-to resource for authentic, focused coverage. Bloggers cover a wide landscape of subjects with varying reaches making them a good resource for garnering positive editorial coverage for whatever you may be pitching. Check out my recent blogs on How to Run a Successful Blogger Campaign and The Dos and Don’ts of Paid Blogger Partnerships for more background before you move forward with your first blogger campaign.
As you begin your next media outreach campaign, consider the above target areas to help broaden your reach and offer yourself the flexibility of distributing when you need the story to be seen.